The Importance of WAC Testing

by | Jun 21, 2022

Waste Acceptance Criteria testing, also known as WAC testing is used to determine whether organic material is suitable to be disposed of in a landfill. The test is crucial prior to disposal to ensure that hazardous material is going to have as minimal impact on the environment as possible. It has been made mandatory by The Environment Agency and forms part of the EU’s Waste Framework Directive; hence the test forms an integral aspect of a great number of geotechnical site investigations.

How to Perform WAC Testing

Initially, you must access the volume of material that needs to be disposed of in a landfill. This waste then needs to be classed as either hazardous or non-hazardous. This is commonly known as the Waste Classification Test. It is important to note that WAC testing cannot replace this as the WAC test cannot determine the type of material in question.

Once classified, the WAC test can be carried out. This consists of two main parts: the analysis of solids and the analysis of leachates. Whilst the solid material itself may not be hazardous, it could produce unsafe liquid leachates which drain from it over time. In conclusion, the report will detail the potential long-term consequences that the organic materials in landfill disposal will have on the environment.

What is Tested For?

A WAC test can determine the number of contaminants there are within the soil. This includes everything from hydrocarbons to asbestos, from metals to chemical elements such as arsenic and mercury. There are many substances that class as contaminants and depending on the test results, they may have to be treated and sent to different landfills accordingly.

Why is WAC Testing Important?

During the initial basic characterisation, if the waste is reported as hazardous, then a corresponding hazardous WAC test is carried out. Following this, the material can be disposed of into a specific ‘hazardous material’ landfill. If the substance is classed as non-hazardous, then further treatment will be required prior to disposal.

If WAC testing was not conducted, then it could pose a serious risk to the environment. It may also result in health and safety concerns. For example, if hazardous waste is buried within an inert landfill, then there would be a high risk of people being exposed to toxic leachates. By conducting these tests, the environment remains safe and cleaner as our waste is dealt with in an appropriate manner.

Contact Borehole Solutions

If you are looking for WAC testing, or any other geotechnical service, then we would love to hear from you! At Borehole Solutions, our expert team has over two decades of experience with a range of drilling services. Our services include: sonic, rotary and cable percussion. To find out more information contact our welcoming team today on 01733 200 501 or send us an email to We look forward to working with you!